Show some respect

Making nasty comments about neighbouring city serves no purpose

I

s it wise for the Mayor of Qualicum Beach to unnecessarily slam and denigrate another community, this time Parksville, in a condescending manner? By saying “I hope we are never like Parksville,” (The News, March 22).

 At times jurisdictions mean little when it comes to a particular cause, undertaking, fundraising, events and so on. When we work together, things get done. 

When I was privileged to serve as mayor in Parksville (1987 to 1996) I was impressed with the commitment to work together from both councils, and had a great and respectful relationship with then Mayors Art Skipsey and Jack Collins, as well as Anton Kruyt (French Creek director) the late Ian Terry (Coombs/Hilliers/Errington director), George Holmes (Nanoose director). We all represented our own turf and we took occasional friendly political pot shots at each other before sipping a beverage together afterwards. We stood tall for those who we were elected to represent, but never once did any of us belittle nor speak ill of each other’s community. 

We were quick to lend each other a helping hand or utter a positive word, whilst leaving problems of an individual community to be resolved by that elected representative. And we left photo opportunities to the last moment, assuring all those who contributed, whether volunteers or politicians, were recognized.

 It is because of that attitude we agreed the swimming pool should be located in Qualicum Beach and the arena in Parksville. We realized that senior governments love to spend our tax dollars in areas where there is unanimity and co-operation.

  The Old School House art centre in Qualicum Beach came about solely because many of us from all over SD69 cared and helped to make it happen. The reason so many people from SD69 are up in arms about the potential closing of KSS is because we care. What is good for Qualicum Beach is good for Parksville, what happens in Nanoose effects French Creek.

 Why? It serves no purpose to fuel and ignite discontent here. There is an oxymoron in his negative statement also, as the Mayor of Qualicum Beach had no hesitation to show up for a quick photo-op at Trillium Lodge in Parksville, without any of our council members present, nor Regional Directors nor the other stake holders involved with the health care centre.

 It is amazing what can be accomplished together, offering an open hand, providing one doesn’t care who gets the credit. This way no one needs to feel superior.

Paul Reitsma

 Parksville